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The rundown on recovery

Written by sportsmed Exercise Physiologist, Brittany McEvoy.

Whether you’re an elite athlete, novice, weekend warrior or anyone in between, recovery after a long-distance run or walk, such as the City to Bay, should form an essential part of your training program.

Post-run recovery is often overlooked as we believe the hard part is now ‘over’ as we’ve made it through. But what you do next is equally as important as the preparation and run itself.

When our body is put under the stress of something like a long distance run, we need to allow time for it to heal, adapt and therefore improve. Physiological improvements occur after a run – not during – which is why implementing an effective recovery strategy to enhance this process is key for all runners! 

Recovery aims to:

  • Allow the body to heal
  • Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and/or perceived fatigue
  • Prepare the body for upcoming training/further physical activity
  • Improve future performance
  • Decrease the risk of injury

The four ‘Rs’ of recovery:

  • Rehydrate: Aim to replace fluid you have lost during the run/walk and more
  • Refuel: Consume adequate carbohydrates for energy replenishment
  • Repair: Consume adequate protein for muscle repair and adaptation
  • Rest: Including 7-9 hours of sleep per day

Recovery options:

  • Post-run cool down
  • Ice bath/ocean walk
  • Contrast bath
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Foam rolling
  • Nutrition
  • Low intensity exercise: light jog, walk, swim, yoga
  • Compression garments

Want to ramp up your recovery?

Post run recovery is key to healing, future performance and overall physical health. If you’d like to add effective recovery strategies into your training program, make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiologists.

sportsmed Exercise Physiologists are available for appointments at our Stepney Healthcare Hub, as well as our Morphett Vale, Blackwood and Mitcham Branches. To make an appointment or enquiry contact 08 8362 8122 or email  

Happy running!

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